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Seeded rye bread with homemade mayonnaise
Lunch, for me, is a great opportunity to not only recharge and refuel amidst a busy working day, but also reconnect with colleagues and friends over nourishing, feel-good food. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of the Scandinavian open sandwich, or Smørrebrød as they’re called in Denmark, which literally means ‘butter and bread’. With only one slice of bread required, they’re a far healthier option than the traditional British sandwich, as well as being simple to create and beautiful to look at. They’re also the perfect sharing lunch: I find there’s no better way to informally bounce ideas back and forwards than over delicious food, which is why I often make a colourful platter of Smørrebrød when I’m having a ‘working lunch’ with my Wellbeing team.
The real beauty is that you can make a loaf of seeded rye bread in advance, then depending on what you fancy or have in the fridge, mix and match your toppings to suit.
For the seeded rye bread
- 600g dark rye flour
- 500ml warm water
- 6g dried yeast
- 250g mixed seeds
- 12g salt
For the homemade mayonnaise
- 2 large organic eggs
- 150ml olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1 lemon, juice
To make the bread:
1 Place the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre; pour the yeast into the well and add 250ml of warm water. Leave to rest to activate the yeast.
2 After 15 minutes add the remaining water, salt and seeds (leaving a handful for the top of the loaf). Mix all the ingredients together well with a wooden spoon and then, with wet hands, form the dough into a brick shape. Carefully press the brick into a well-greased 18cm square cake tin – the dough should fill two thirds of the tin. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for 2 hours.
3 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with a handful of seeds and place on a middle shelf to cook for an hour. To check that it’s ready, make sure that when tapped the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow.
4 When out of the oven, wrap the bread in a clean tea towel and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
To make the mayonnaise:
1 Use a 500ml (one pint) wide-mouth Mason jar or similar sized container that will snugly fit the hand blender inside.
2 Make sure the eggs are at room temperature and crack them whole into the mason jar, along with a little glug of the olive oil. Start the hand blender and slowly pour in the remaining olive oil, whilst moving the blender up and down as you go. Carry on adding it in for around 2 minutes, until the mixture thickens (the consistency will be slightly thinner than shop-bought mayonnaise).
3 Season well with salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.